A blog about the Phillies and Major League Baseball (MLB).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

JOHN MIDDLETON Deals Cole Hamels for Pile of Dog Feces

So it has happened. He did it again. The bloodsucker who the Philly sports media told you for years was your savior, a "George Steinbrenner" just dealt yet another Cooperstown talent for the standard sack of crap that you always see head for the airport in deals like this.

John Middleton Phillies Hamels to Rangers trade

Let's quickly review the "work" of John Middleton again:

Curt Schilling
Scott Rolen
Bobby Abreu
Cliff Lee
Hunter Pence
Shane Victorino
Vicente Padilla

This is correct. Vicente Padilla is the total return for shipping out all those players. If Schilling was not hated by so many baseball writers he would have gone into Cooperstown on the first ballot. It was his "trade" that brought back Padilla. The rest yielded nothing.

Now we can add Cole Hamels to this list without adding anyone to the sum total of Vicente Padilla.

Jorge Alfaro

The prospect evaluators at Baseball America and their ilk will tell you never to scout a stat line. You know why they say that? Because if you do you don't need to pay for all the verbiage they produce and then they're unemployed. Really, the only time you can't scout the stat line is when everything is good.

That won't be a problem with Alfaro or the rest of this "haul".

Alfaro in AA this year: Nine walks and 61 strikeouts. A ratio of almost seven to one. Take a look around MLB at any successful hitter and see how many you can find with a ratio like that. Then consider that Alfaro is doing this in AA and he's 22 years old.

If you read the work of the prospect guys they'll tell you how Alfaro has awesome power. Well, he has five bombs in 207 plate appearances in AA. What they mean is that in batting practice he can hit the ball a long way. So can many guys in slow pitch softball leagues. The minors are full of guys with big batting practice power who can't connect in games.

The Phillies already have a catcher like this. His name is Cameron Rupp. Now they have two Cameron Rupps.

More bad news, and this is from the prospect guys at Baseball America themselves. They had Alfaro rated as the 54th best prospect in the minors before 2014. This year they downgraded Alfaro to 67th. If asked they will tell you that this is dependant on the talent as a whole, but this is bullshit. If you have followed their work for over a decade as I have then you know that no prospect goes backwards like this on the Top 100 list unless that player failed at the next level or showed no improvement. The later is the case with Alfaro who moved from low-A to high-A ball - not a tremendous jump - aging another year and showing no improvement at all.

Now it gets worse.

Alfaro has moved on to AA this year after 99 plate appearances late last season in AA and he is still the same guy as he was in those 99 plate appearances after aging another year.

In short, Alfaro has horrible plate discipline. He is crippled at the plate. This is a key component of hitting. You can't get better at the higher levels if you can't recognize bad pitches and take them. It's all downhill from here. The difference in this regard between AA and MLB is profound and Alfaro is challenged almost to the point of being overwhelmed in AA.

If Alfaro's defense improves he may have a year or two - on the Phillies - as a backup catcher to Cameron Rupp.

Nick Williams

Williams will turn 22 years old on September 8th. Before last year he made the Baseball America Top 100 list for the first time.

This year he didn't make the cut. Another guy who went south on the list that matters. However, this year he surprised a lot people by making some improvements at the plate in AA and he will likely crack the Top 100 lists this winter.

Williams is a "toolsy" Domonic Brown type of outfielder. He has all of Brown's flaws, maybe some more on defense than Brown does (Williams arm stinks while Brown has a cannon). Nick Williams is a soon to turn 22 year old project. If Nick Williams looked more like Darin Ruf than Domonic Brown he couldn't sniff the bottom of a Top Three Hundred list.

A .836 OPS at AA in 415 plate appearances is nothing to be excited over and in his chats this year Keith Law has not been excited about Nick Williams. Maybe in his writeup behind the pay wall he will try to put a shine on Williams so as not to alienate Phillies fans, but his true opinion on Williams is available in his chat transcripts.

The only other player in this criminal transaction is Jake Thompson, a RHP who the Rangers received in a deal with the Tigers. Thompson is 21 years old and has a decent MLB quality fastball and a good slider. He lacks command though and do I even need to write this for you? He's likely to end up in the bullpen, probably a 7th inning guy.

The others are so bad I won't even mention their names. It's better that way since you will never remember their names three years from today anyway. I'm not sure the Camden Riversharks would have much interest in them. Really, I'm not exaggerating their lack of ability. One of them is going nowhere and he's 24 years old. He has a mother who may still be alive and have an internet connection, why go down that road? None of this is his fault, he's an innocent swept up in the crime wave of John Middleton.

Oh yeah, and the Phillies took on the contract of Matt Harrison. This is a dead contract. Harrison essentially has a broken back. He has had three serious spinal operations. He should just go home and collect his money guaranteed on his deal. However, John Middleton doesn't have the decency to do that. Harrison will be put on the field as a Jerome Williams type of crash dummy to get shelled and help John Middleton get the first pick in the MLB draft - probably for at least the next three years, maybe longer than that (picking first in the draft I mean, Harrison will not be able to take the field for that long).

Putting Matt Harrison on the field should be considered a Human Rights violation. John Middleton is of course proud to have his picture taken with international War Criminal Condoleezza Rice so why would he blanch at putting a man with a broken back out on the field to be shelled?

Did the Rangers have any better prospects than this? ABSOLUTELY! And they told the Phillies to forget about them. So if the Rangers wouldn't give up Joey Gallo or even Nomar Mazara then why would the Phillies do the deal? Why would they not even insist on the lone pitching prospect the Rangers have in Alex Gonzalez?


John Middleton told his underlings who will take the rap for this crime to "Get Hamels out of here."

In 2017 the Phillies had one player under contract for that season. Just one. Can you guess his name?

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